SACRAMENTO – Local advocates are preparing to support those living in the country illegally if Immigration and Customs Enforcement takes action in Sacramento.
Sacramento is not on the list of cities supposedly being targeted in the ICE raids, but advocates want to be prepared just in case. So, they spent Sunday giving advice to people who have entered the country without legal permission.
At Sunday morning services across Sacramento, sermons shift focus from lessons on the Bible— to lessons on churchgoers’ rights.
“We are one community and we need to protect each other,” said Antonio Campos.
Campos and other activists with Sacramento ACT, are giving presentations on how those who entered the country without authorization can respond should ICE come to their door.
“We are trying to tell the people, ‘don’t open your door.’ They don’t have the right to open your door. So, if they knock on your door, just don’t open that’s it,” Campos stated.
It’s a message advocates are trying to spread as raids are planned across the U.S.
ICE Officials say they are starting a mission Sunday to round up roughly 2000 people who are living in the country illegally and who already have court orders to leave the country.
“Take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries. Or they’re going to take criminals out and put them in prison or put them in prison in the countries they came from. We’re focused on criminals as much as we can,” President Trump said about the ICE raids.
ICE says it’s targeting 10 major cities including San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Sacramento is not on the list but Elizabeth Kim, President of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, says she’s ready to offer legal counsel if needed.
“Most people don’t even realize that they have rights but absolutely they do. We encourage everyone to know that they have every right to remain silent. They have every right to request counsel and they do not have to open the door unless there’s a warrant that is judge-signed. An ICE warrant is not effective in getting into their homes and detaining them,” Kim said.
Advocacy groups have a 24-hour hotline for people who need it to report any contact they have with immigration officials. They can also get advice by calling 916-245-6773.
Campos is praying the number is not needed this weekend.
“More than anything it’s fear they’re trying to put on our community. But people need to keep living their lives. Keep doing whatever they’re doing,” he said.
So far, these advocates in Sacramento have not heard of any action being taken locally by ICE, but they’re ready to step in if that changes.